What Goldilocks Can Teach Us About Charisma

yasin-hosgor-507334-unsplash (1)“This porridge is too hot!”

“This porridge is too cold.”

“Ahhh, this porridge is just right.”


At Hogan, we’ve been talking a lot about Humility lately. We’ve spent much less time talking about its antonym – Charisma. However, colleagues have used the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) to study charisma and recently published their findings in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. This post highlights their key findings, relates it to our own thinking about humility, and calls out some practical implications for coaching and leadership development.

In their paper, Jasmine Vergauwe, Bart Wille, Joeri Hofmans, Rob Kaiser, and Filip De Fruyt show that the HDS contains a “Charisma Cluster” of scales. Specifically, the Bold, Mischievous, Colorful, and Imaginative scales together form a measure of charisma that reflects a combination of confidence, risk-taking, social presence, and strong vision.

Read More »

Can You Handle Failure?

harvard-business-review-logo-FD07ED9958-seeklogo.com*This article, authored by Ben Dattner and Robert Hogan, was originally published in Harvard Business Review in 2011. It has been republished in the HBR 2018 Summer Issue.  

In his brilliant 1950 film, Rashomon, the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa depicts the story of a rape and murder four times, from the perspectives of four characters. The message is clear: Different people can see the same events in dramatically different ways.

In the workplace this phenomenon is particularly evident when it comes to underperformance and failure. An outcome that an employee regards as satisfactory may be seen by his boss as entirely unacceptable. When a project is an unequivocal flop, colleagues disagree over the reasons why. These reactions, and their effect on workplace relationships, often become more problematic than the original event. As a result, how people respond to negative feedback is of great importance to managers and organizations and is a major determinant of career success.

Consider the case of a pharmaceutical company seeking FDA approval for a new use of an existing drug. (Some details have been changed to protect client confidentiality.) Wendy, a talented researcher, was put in charge of the large-scale data analysis required to file an appli Read More »

The Dark Side of Personality: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

bryan-fernandez-533491-unsplashEveryone around the world derails, or shows their dark side, at some point(s) in a career. That is, people from all walks of life inevitably demonstrate behaviors and reactions that end up getting in the way of leadership, relationships, and/or performance at one time or another. But why do self-aware, educated professionals who know their stress-induced conduct is counterproductive act in such ways across the globe?

Freud summed it up with his “life sucks, deal with [your neuroses]” perspective, postulating that the conditioning for our nerve wracked outlook starts from birth. You never see a newborn come out laughing, do you? It’s cold, it’s bright, it’s foreign; and Sigmund believed that experience sticks with you, leaving residual trauma lodged somewhere in your subconscious. And even if you don’t buy into his unproven hypotheses, think about that baby’s likely favorite word a couple of years later: “No”. Why do they say that all the time? They’re testing boundaries; they’re testing limits; they’re making sense of their world; and all the while, they’re being instructed how to act. Many times, these instructions counter their natural inclinations. They adapt and experiment with ways to get their way.

This two-year-old eventually grows and enters primary school. There she or he faces new authority figures (teachers), peers (classmates), and a more complex “society”. The child continues her or his attempts to resolve feelings of inadequacy caused by humiliation, injury, and other traumas. This continues to evolve in middle school, high school, and beyond. Every child gets injured, gets called on by the instructor when they don’t know the answer, has to face a bully in the schoolyard; not to mention the fears of rejection that crop up when one becomes a teenager.

Read More »

A&D Resources to Host Event on Dealing with Poor Leadership

3221_filename_1457*This press release originally appeared on Business Wire on May 8, 2018.

A&D Resources, an international consultancy company, operating with 15 years’ experience with assessment and development of individuals, teams and organisations, and an authorized Hogan Assessments distributor, will host an event featuring Dr. Robert Hogan, well known authority on personality and business psychology, at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30 at Hotel Sofitel Legend the Grand in Amsterdam.

The event is about “Dealing with Poor Leadership,” and Dr. Hogan will address “Absentee Leadership,” a current topic of concern in the HR and talent management circles, even though, it has plagued organisations for centuries.

“Absentee leadership is a real factor that slowly unhinges otherwise well-run companies,” says Hogan. “Absentee leaders are everywhere, they destroy employee engagement, and they are very hard to identify because they are invisible.”

Read More »

Distributor Spotlight: IAssessment Overcomes Adversity to Thrive in Spain

IMG-20180508-WA0002The phrase “Fortune favors the bold” is appealing on the surface, especially to those who watch others take extraordinary risks without anything to lose themselves. And, in reality, often times fortune does NOT favor the bold, particularly when starting a new business.

However, that did not deter our friends at IAssessment from launching their business under extreme conditions of risk and uncertainty. And, even in the direst of circumstances, the company has thrived and grown Hogan’s presence exponentially in the Spanish market. 

In the latest edition of the Distributor Spotlight Series, IAssessment’s Managing Partner, Juan Antonio Calles, tells the story of how the company started and the work they’ve done to improve the Spanish workforce.

When we signed our collaboration agreement with Hogan, we were at the dawn of the worst economic crisis in decades in Spain. Our friends and colleagues showed concern and surprise for the launching of a new venture in such uncertain and turbulent times. Now? Why not wait? Are you crazy? These were the words we most commonly heard in those days.

Read More »

Leadership and Humility

Rob2*This is a guest post authored by Rob Field, Learning and Development Director at Advanced People Strategies.


A pretty vast topic. The debates around effective leadership always evoke some pretty heated debate and numerous perspectives. We all have our stories of the successful and inspirational leaders we have worked for and with, the qualities they possess and how they have engaged those around them.

In leadership it can be easy to become caught up in status, power and control, however, for leaders, focusing on those around them and within their teams is crucial to success. Cheryl Williamson wrote in Forbes ‘You cannot be an effective leader if you feel you are better than your subordinates’.  Teams with these types of leaders tend to have higher turnover and experience lower productivity.

Read More »

The Psychology of Economic Development

cropped-be-papers-wordleI find it annoying that Economics is regarded as a more advanced discipline than Psychology. For example, there is a Nobel Prize in Economics but not in Psychology; this is odd because the field of “behavioral economics” is nothing more than applied cognitive psychology. Several years ago, I started reading The Economist magazine in order to understand what the economists have to say about how to organize human affairs. The big question in economics concerns identifying the policies that are best suited to develop national economies. Therefore, if Economics is a useful discipline, then economists should have something to say about how to grow an economy. If they do, then we can take their (very important) message to sub-Saharan Africa, Cuba, or Venezuela.

The April 14th, 2018 issue of The Economist contains a startling admission: professional economists have no clue about how to promote economic development; specifically, economists have no idea why rich countries became rich in the first place. The problem is, economists study “structural factors” (e.g., tax policy, access to capital, property rights legislation)—objective features of government that can be quantified—and this is the wrong place to look for answers.Consequently, economists have no serious advice for poor countries—or anyone else.

The Economist magazine goes on to note that the most promising approach to understanding economic development is to study “…the ways in which culture and politics constrain economics…” This is because economic development depends on “…decisions about economic governance taken by…leaders, which will in turn be influenced by social and geo-political forces that economists scarcely understand and generally ignore.”

Read More »

Hogan Cares About Validity; Most Test Publishers Do Not

The test publishing industry is unregulated. As a result, many commercial test publishers ignore validity, and sell the psychometric equivalent of snake oil. However, when most reputable assessment vendors care only about their bottom line, they have little incentive to care much about the validity of their assessments. And, because of the high stakes involved in global employee selection and development, this is one of the most deceptive and harmful business practices of the 21st century.

Simply put, valid assessments predict performance; assessments that lack validity cannot predict performance. In this new video, Bob Hogan expands on the importance of validity in assessments, and explains the steps necessary to establish validity.

Thoughts on: New(ish) Directions for Vocational Interests Research

474-icf-logo-cl*This is a guest post written by Joel A. DiGirolamo, Director of Coaching Science for the International Coach Federation.

I enjoyed reading the thought-provoking paper “New(ish) Directions for Vocational Interests Research”by Hogan and Sherman. It is jam-packed with concepts, models, and logic that offer fodder for many thought exercises.

I certainly agree with the assertion that “values are the real underlying subject matter of vocational psychology.” When looking more broadly, however, it seems to me that the following hierarchy exists: Read More »

RECAP: Hogan Assessments Makes Waves in Budapest and Chicago Last Week

Hogan European Summit

BudapestApril is a hectic time of the year for the crew at Hogan Assessments, and this year was no different. In fact, our staff was widely represented in both the US and Europe during a week full of events.

The week began with a group of Hogan representatives traveling to Budapest, Hungary to attend the Hogan European Summit, which was organized by Hogan’s Managing Director of Europe, Zsolt Feher.

Held at the famous Gerbeaud Café in historic downtown Budapest, the event aimed to foster collaboration among our European distributors to facilitate growth across the continent and enhance Hogan’s brand visibility.

Dr. Hogan delivered the opening keynote address to set the tone for the Summit, which was followed by discussions regarding EU PR and marketing strategy by MITTE Communications, 360 and Global Talent Survey updates by Peter Berry Consultancy, an interactive strategy session, and product updates.

Hogan CEO Scott Gregory discussed absentee leadership on day two. This is a relatively new topic in the industry, and was thoroughly covered by Scott in an article he wrote for Harvard Business Review. The keynote was followed by sessions covering strategy for selection research and presentation, a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) update, distributor case study presentations, a Q&A session with Hogan Leadership, and an afternoon of sightseeing in Budapest.

We’re truly honored to have such a strong network of European distributors, and we look forward to future opportunities to bring everyone together in an effort to boost Hogan’s global presence.

Read More »